Rescue Me

Common Sense Media says

Complex, mature show isn't meant for younger viewers.

Age(i)

2
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9
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters appreciate loyalty, friendship, teamwork, and other positive values, but they also behave in ways that are iffy at best -- drinking too much, cheating on significant others, etc. The show respects the dangers that firefighters face on a daily basis.

Positive role models

Despite plenty of bad habits, these very-human characters generally try to do the right thing. They drink too much but realize it's a problem and try to get help. Sometimes they break the law, but they analyze every side of their moral dilemmas and try to find some legitimate justifications for their choices.

Violence

The firefighters are frequently in danger on the job and sometimes engage in pretty realistic fights off the job.

Sex

Plenty of sex, talking about sex, and arguments between sexual partners. Some pretty graphic sexual scenes in many episodes (but not all), including partial nudity. Characters have affairs.

Language

Extremely foul. Just about every bad word imaginable, and a few creative new ones.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Tommy is a struggling alcoholic, and it's not pretty when he falls off the wagon. Several other characters also drink heavily, and some take drugs. This show doesn't shy away from portraying both the fun times and the ugly lows that come from both. Many characters smoke cigarettes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Rescue Me is an unflinching look at the lives of firefighters. These rough-and-tumble men -- and the occasional woman -- put their lives on the line when they go to work, and their language is as rough as the situations they face. When they're not fighting fires, they're usually crass, sometimes violent, often drunk, and always looking for either sex or love, though not always at the same time. In short, they're very human, very flawed, and very real.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary) has problems. He's an alcoholic who's hardly trying to control his drinking, his ex-wife hates him even more than most divorcees hate their former husbands, and he sometimes finds himself having conversations with dead friends and family members. The one place where Tommy, the senior firefighter at a busy New York firehouse, feels on solid ground is at work. Though this compelling and realistic drama centers on Tommy and his complicated life, his co-workers are also important characters with plenty of their own problems -- and helping his fellow firefighters sort through their issues helps Tommy (and viewers) realize that everybody's life can sometimes get pretty messy.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Though the firefighting scenes are exciting, the strength of RESCUE ME is that the characters' problems and crises are all very believable; watching Tommy and his pals try to figure out what to do with their lives feels like it could be anyone trying to muddle through life. Viewers might be put off by the language; firefighters can't really be expected to watch their words when battling a blaze, and the station house seems much like a lived-in locker room, but these guys are incredibly foul-mouthed by any standard. There's not a bad word ever coined that they don't use liberally, and they make up plenty more that are creatively explicit.

Still, Rescue Me goes a step beyond the standard hospital or police station ensemble drama because its characters have more going on in their lives than what happens at work. That said, the level of complication and complex shades of gray in those lives make the series iffy for all but the most mature teens.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how they would react to some of the conflicts that Tommy and his pals face. The show creates extreme but realistic situations that require the characters to make difficult choices. In one important storyline, for example, Tommy, his father, and his uncle take justice into their own hands. What do teens think they would do in a similar situation?

  • Do the ends ever justify the means? What can people do when they believe the law has failed them?

TV details

Network:FX
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-MA
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Rescue Me was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Adult Written byRickyLoyola April 25, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Could be a promising parent child conversation starter

I wish there was an easy way to rate this but there isnt... I am a twenty one year old college student who began watching this show with my parents from the moment it came on the air. My family unlike many others is brutally honest and open (that is what you get for being half italian half redneck). My father was a fireman and i obviously idolized the man i was named for, so watching this show gave me a way to be closer to him. The language in the show is often crass and rude but is used most often to either deliver the message or to gain a laugh. Despite the shows graphic sex scenes (graphic for standard cable) and violent moment, it offers something most TV shows are too afraid to deliver, REALISM. This show covers everything from discovering sexuality (the probie's homosexual experimentation), respecting sexuality (the captain's son being openly gay), alcoholism (Tommy), adultery (Tommy), loss (every cast member), and so on. This show can be an amazing talking point IF, and I mean IF parents are willing to sit down and talk to their children about the show. The topics are virtually limitless and present the parents an easy opening to possibly difficult conversations to have. My recommendation is that parents take the time to consider this as a show to watch with their children at around age 14+. Especially because this is the age at about when most kids will be personally introduced to most if not all of these topics in the real world, if they havent been already.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byThatKrazyGuy March 29, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

FX Strikes Gold Again!

Rescue Me is rated TV-MA for strong crude language, strong sexual content including nudity, and some violence.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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